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Bugs Swarming Early Thanks To Mild, Wet Winter

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - They are swarming around porch lights, splattering on windshields and crawling out of the ground. An exceptionally warm winter, combined with heavy spring rains, is fueling spring insect populations in North Texas much earlier than pest control experts expected.

"I'm expecting a record number of calls for termite work," said Marty Keane and The Pest Shop in Plano. "Matter of fact our company, we've expanded. We've invested several thousand dollars just this week in more termite equipment."

Keane said she hired two new technicians to keep up after referring several jobs to other companies.

ABC Pest Control and Myers Pest Services also said calls for swarming ants, and swarming termites have spiked this month.

They're pointing the finger at the unusually warm winter in North Texas. The 14 freezes ties the record for the fewest in one season.

"Without that we're finding that the eggs or larval stages of the insects, those populations, aren't diminished at all," said Keane. "They're continuing to thrive. So we're going to have larger populations this year, than we have in previous years."

This winter also ranks as the sixth wettest on record. Those rains are helping to fuel a pest population that was largely absent just months ago at the height of the drought.

At Aubrey Dalling's Plano home Wednesday, technicians found at least three lines of odourous house ants starting to make their way into cracks in the walls.

"I definitely didn't expect to see them until April," she said. "It's a little bit surprising to see them in March."

Keane has had customers bring in swarming carpenter ants and termites. They are the reproductive forms of the insects. Early colony building though she said can lead to bigger problems later.

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